Canal boat death: victim identified

Mr Mason's boat Samara
Mr Mason's boat Samara

The Banbury boater who was found dead on board a canal boat last Thursday has been identified as Ian Mason - known to many as Spike.

Mr Mason who was 63-years-old, and his Staffordshire Bull Terrier Milly were found dead by neighbours on board their canal boat Samara on the Oxford Canal shortly after 1.30pm. Ambulance crews were called to the scene followed by firefighters who checked the boat for toxic gases before retrieving the bodies.

Neighbouring boater Chris Wren said Mr Mason was well known among the Banbury boating community as “very friendly and helpful” and said boaters were “in shock” at his death.

Mr Mason’s brother Shaun Mason is also a boater living at Cropredy though the family originates from Kent.

The cause of Mr Mason’s death is still being investigated but information released last week by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue service suggested he may have died after breathing in toxic fumes, most probably from an on-board solid fuel stove.